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Vacation Journal
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Introduction to Steve & Grace, Day 1 & 2 of our 1st Isla snorkeling vacation

By: gee2sun (View Profile)
Date: 5/29/2006

Weíve been married 5Ĺ years ago. This is the first trip that we could consider as our honeymoon. Steve swims
like a fish and has snorkeled in Hawaii and Cabo San Lucas. Iíve never snorkeled and my vacations have always been to go back home to the Midwest to visit family. Our goal was to find a remote beach with wonderful snorkeling. We found Isla Mujeres on the internet and I got hooked on the wonderful message boards and trip reports.

We planned 2 nights downtown on the 3rd floor of Bucaneros and 4 nights on the South bay side at Mar y Sol. They turned out to be perfect choices for us.

We had also planned to try to keep our trip below $2000. Not that we HAVE to, we have good jobs. Steve installs the thing in shower heads that makes it sound like the phone is ringing and I test them out. He does a good job Ė I havenít found one that doesnít work yet. So far our rooms have cost $35 a night and our airfare well over $1000.

Day One Ė Sunday, May 21, 2006
We looked straight ahead as we left the Cancun airport (ignoring the timeshare booths) and a very welcomed man came up and asked us who we were looking for. He directed us to the Best Day gentlemen and they had our name on the list. Off we went straight to the UltraMar ferry dock. The sky was totally cloud covered and stayed that way for most of our trip. We didnít mind. We are from Tucson and used to the heat but certainly not this humidity! Whew!

Once on the island, we decided to walk to Bucaneros. We knew the way and only had 2 carry-on suitcases. We announced our arrival with a deafening clatter while wheeling our luggage down the street. I felt like the entire island heard us arrive. What a thrill to finally be strolling down Hidalgo seeing the names of the restaurants and hotels I had heard so much about on the forums.

We checked in without a hitch (thanks to Vicki at Lost Oasis) and walked up 6 flights of stairs to our 3rd floor. Itís perfect! Comfy bed, AC, ceiling fan, lock box and a hot shower. Weíre pouring out sweat and I climb up on the bed while dodging the ceiling fan to get the AC going. I canít figure it out so Steve climbs up and gets things working. Then we discover the remote control to the AC on the table. LOL! One window faces east and the other overlooks the courtyard. Outside our room is a little area to sit with a nice Caribbean breeze.

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We head out in search of a cambio and a light dinner walking from one end of Hidalgo to the other. Steve is amused with the electric poles.

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We end up at Don Chepoís. Steve has tacos and I have Sopa de Lima. Great service. Check out the bano Ė oops, fish out the TP, wash area is a colorful sink shared with the hombres.

Off to explore. Steveís lost Ė I know exactly where I am. I have to force myself to slow down and not drag him along behind me! Steve wants to walk on Playa Norte so we head down Guerrero to the beach. We canít see it but we know how beautiful it is and canít wait to return tomorrow. We see the Sunset Grill and decide to see if we can locate a bano. No problem, just on the other side of the pool. This came in handy several times on our trip.

There seems to be quite a party going on so we follow the sound of music and laughter to what I think is the Playa Caribbean dock area by Sergioís (Playa Sol). It appears to be a wet t-shirt contest Ė oh my, no t-shirts. Hmmm, no nothing. These people are having a great time dancing and being sprayed with water. Others look like theyíd love to join in, dancing and partying and having way too much fun. Thereís a huge boat at the dock and we assume they are from Cancun. We enjoy the atmosphere but itís getting late. Ok, Steve, letís go. No really, honey, we should go now.

We hear wonderful Latin music and walk through a huge party of what appears to be locals. They are having a wonderful time.

Back to our room. Sweet Isla dreamsÖ.



Day 2 Ė Monday, May 22, 2006

I wake up very early. The sun is barely coming up. The ACís whirring but what is that sound? Is that a rooster? No way. I go to the window and stick my head out. Silence. Only the sound of other AC. Go back to bed. Boy, that sure sounds like a rooster. Back to the window. This time he lets one crow for me. Iím thrilled! Itís been a very long time since I woke up to a roosterís crow! Itís overcast and Iím a little disappointed that I cannot see the sunrise since I know that once we go to the south end, weíll be on the wrong side of the island to catch it again. Itís still very beautiful and peaceful. We decide to have breakfast downstairs on the street.

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I wanted to have the granola, fruit and yogurt at M&Jís but I think they are closed on Monday. I was so happy to see the same dish on the menu at Bucaneros. Papaya, fresh pineapple, kiwi, melon and more. Very delicious. Steve orders ham and eggs with toast. We both have fresh orange juice. Everything was very good but Iím so excited I can hardly eat.

We explore the shops and head down to Aqua Adventures to meet Donna Jane Rivera.

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She had just returned from her trip to the states. She is so sweet but not feeling well as she had taken a bad fall and was very sore. We decide to take a snorkeling trip with her shop later in the week but today, we plan to snorkel around Avalon. Off we go to look it over. We see the Rock house which is to the right of Avalon and we walk over the bridge to Avalon.

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Thereís great snorkeling between the Rock house and the bridge.

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We find Kingís Bath and enjoy the roar of the Caribbean ocean. On our return, we are approached by a timeshare person. We discover during our week long trip that if we tell them we have already seen the presentation, they leave us alone.

We go back to the room to get our snorkeling gear and as we head back down to Avalon around lunchtime, I recognize Jim, Carmita and Donna with a friend at Sancochos. We stop to say hello and chat for a few minutes. Itís a thrill to finally meet these people in person!

One of our suitcases was all snorkel gear. I insisted on bringing my life jacket but the water looks shallow enough around Avalon that I donít think Iíll need it. Iíve never snorkeled before and am not a good swimmer. Steve holds my hand and off we go. I float like a bobber. I could have used that room in the suitcase for far better things! Steve points out a small perfectly camouflaged ray. The fish are so pretty and we spend enough time for me to get very comfortable in the water. We forgot our underwater camera and fish food so we decide to come back another day. We drip dry Ė no need for the beach towels we packed, either. More wasted suitcase room!

We stroll Playa Norte again, this time in the daylight. Sunset Grill looks like a shady stop for lunch. Shared nachos is plenty and hits the spot. Back to the room for a welcomed cool shower (there was no water coming from the hot faucet). Weíre off exploring again and work up an appetite for dinner.

I am determined to have the coconut shrimp and the mango margarita I had read about in Mickyís trip report. Off to Chili Locos which is directly across from Aqua Adventures.

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A gentleman comes out to meet us as we read the street menu and I ask him if he is Jorge. Yes! I tell him how Iíve heard about his coconut shrimp and mango margaritas and heís flattered and happy to accommodate. The drinks are 2 for 1. Steve orders fajitas. Our dinner is perfect. As we finish up, Jorge tells us about his experience with the hurricane. He is quite entertaining so we slowly finish our second drink and enjoy his lively conversation.

Off we go to explore some more. Steve wants to check out the nightlife at Playa Norte again tonight. Hmmmm. Sorry, itís quiet. Too bad! LOL!

Tomorrow we will move to Mar y Sol and Steve wants to rent a scooter. I lecture him on the dangers, the topas (speed bumps), the warnings on the message boards but he is an experienced motorcycle driver and promises to be very careful so I agree.

Iím so excited about exploring the rest of the islandÖ..


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